I’ve been waiting for seven weeks to find out if I’d be accepted to a novel writing program through a northern California university. I received notification yesterday that I was accepted. They only accept “about 30 students per cycle” to this two-year program. I was doubtful I would get in because of the odds.

Seven weeks of ups and downs, optimism and pessimism, waiting and endless indigestion, finally over. The last 34 hours or so have been filled with relief, celebration, elation, disbelief, and nervousness.

Thanks to my family, friends, and coworkers for listening to me drone on endlessly about the waiting. Thanks to everybody that I cornered and forced to hear about my acceptance. Thank you to Mark E. and John R. for your support and references.

Now it’s time to get to work.

Creative Writing meta-fiction assignment

The coffee shop is full of small round tables. Most are vacant on the frigid sub-zero morning. Even the draw of fresh brewed steaming-hot coffee is not enough to pull many people out of their beds on this bitter morning. The comforting and invigorating smell of brewing coffee fills the air.

Two women sit at a table near the center of the seating area. They braved the cold to share each other’s company, something they look forward to each week. Their faces are painted with exhaustion. They’re emotionally drawn and quartered. Not that they ever complain, but they need this weekly break from husbands, children, work, and numerous responsibilities. A short respite from life as they know it.

When they are able to have time alone, they choose to spend the fleeting moments with each other. They share the time over a cup of coffee or tea, whichever strikes their mood. These meetings are their escape. They’re anonymous here. The endless demands stop for just a short time. The needs of others vaporize for a few minutes. Sometimes they chat, these friends of countless years. Sometimes they’re quiet, finding comfort in the mere presence of the other.

Without a word they can sense how the other feels, what they need at the moment, support, or simply quiet escape. They can read each other’s expressions, or flick of their hair, or the way a hand rests on the table, and know exactly what it means. It’s an unconscious sign language that’s evolved over a few decades of friendship.

Today they’ve been mostly silent, choosing to soak up the peace. The shop is quiet except for the slight murmur of two employees talking behind the counter. Their peace is broken when a balding middle-aged man approaches their table. He has papers in his hands and tentatively holds one out between the women. His discomfort is apparent as he explains that the paper is a project for his Creative Writing class. He explains that they have no obligation to read it, and that he’s not selling anything. They can use it as a coaster for their cups, or to dispose of a piece of gum, or crumple it up and use it as a cheap cat toy. Neither of them reach for it. He sets it down, thanks them for their time, and walks away. Their eyes meet, relieved that the uninvited guest has gone away.

I thank you for your time. I’m not selling anything, this is an obligation-free handout. This momentary diversion from your day is a meta-fiction writing project for my Creative Writing class final. Thanks again for spending your time reading my words.

Not Quite Dead Yet

First off, this blog is not meant to be about me. I have no need to bore people with the mundane everyday activities of my life. My intention is to just share and showcase my writing, or my attempt at writing, depending on which way you want to look at it. But I disappeared from the blog for a while, and I felt I should offer up an explanation.

Life happens. Holidays happen. Family events happen. Two week-long illnesses happen. And best of all, school happened. I have been diligently focusing on school. (I’m going for a Creative Writing Certificate.) I lucked out and got into a class with a really great professor. He’s a published author, and he has at least thirty years of experience in writing and editing. He’s a goldmine for information and inspiration. He told me that I am “an excellent writer”. My head did not swell, but it was good for my confidence. Writing well and being able to weave a story that keeps people interested are two very different things.

As far as my writing and how that is going, the main novel I had been working on has kind of fallen to the side. I’m not abandoning it, but I am just working on it when I am inspired. I recently had a vision for a new story and I have been working on that quite a bit. It really came out of nowhere and took over. I’m not sure if it will be a short, or if it will be novel length. I have to see where it takes me.

My intention is to post my short story “Vows” on this blog in two or three parts. I’ve gone back and I am editing and expanding it to what I had originally intended it to be. (Long boring story shortened: There was some major editing to try to meet a size restriction for a class.) Hopefully the first part of that will be ready soon.

Thanks for checking in. Please feel free to leave a comment.